tv Inside Story ABC May 10, 2015 11:30am-12:01pm EDT
>> tony williams says he would replace chief ramsey and that led to a political firestorm but will it matter on election day? let's get the inside story. >> good morning. i'm tamala edwards. welcome to "inside story." let's introduce you to the panel. first up, attorney george burrell... marketing exec brian tierney... attorney ajay raju... and attorney val digiorgio. now let's talk about the race for mayor heating up as we get into the last 10 days. for most of the race tony williams had said, you know, "it's up to chief ramsey if he wants to stay. i like him just fine." that changed in the debate that 6abc had. let's take a listen to what he had to say. >> the person who unfortunately is the person who uses stop-and-frisk the most, the current commissioner, would be changed. we have to change the commissioner in philadelphia. >> and that was like water into
a hot pan of oil -- boom! it went. we had a lot of responses, including a pretty hard-edge one from mayor nutter. here's what he had to say. >> anyone who is not smart enough to at least ask him to stay is probably not smart enough to run this city. >> and this was beyond the mayor. we had seth williams, who's an ally of tony williams, who tweeted out support for chief ramsey. we had the black clergy come out and say, "we like him just fine." was this a smart or not smart thing for tony williams to have done? >> well, i think he may have said it inartfully, but i think anyone who says they're against stop-and-frisk has to understand what commissioner ramsey's position is on stop-and-frisk. if he thinks it's a fundamental part of public safety, then you as mayor and he have a fundamental difference, and he probably should not be your police commissioner. and i think that senator williams should have said it more artfully than he did. in the end, politically, the question is -- among black male
voters in the city of philadelphia, stop-and-frisk is one of the fundamental key issues. and i think what the senator's doing is strengthening his position with that constituency by taking a more aggressive position on stop-and-frisk and the commissioner and trying to tie the two of them together. >> at the same time, this is the commissioner who's standing next to president obama as the co-chair of the task force, so it's hard to say -- you know perhaps it was inartful the way he said it. certainly, it was. and to have a situation where you've got obama's guy and then you've got the mayor jumping in, seth williams, all these other people, i don't think it advanced his campaign this week the way he did that. >> you know, there's an interesting elite-versus-the-public breakdown. you get the feeling as you read opinion columns, as you listen to some of the bites from politicians that they're pulling back from tony williams and that could just be "i don't know if you're gonna win, so now i'm couching things a certain way." does that matter with people on the street in 10 days? does it matter if opinion writers and the political elite say, "we're not so sure about
tony williams"? >> no, i don't think it matters at all. i think this is clearly a politically calculated motivation in a very tight race. i think george hits the nail on the head when he says it's going after a certain demographic. it's a question of whether that demographic comes out to vote. you know, this is the debate we're having all across the country right now, which is, you know, "are african-americans specifically" -- you know, that's where we need law and order the most, in some of these neighborhoods, and how folks feel about things like stop-and-frisk and whether those folks are coming out to vote for law and order or not. >> you know, ajay, tony also went up with an ad this week in which he brought up comments that jim kenney -- his biggest competitor -- made in the late '90s that seemed to be in support of hard line police tactics in certain neighborhoods. kenney has come out and said "listen, that was almost 20 years ago. i've grown." even people like rendell have said, "i don't know why you would do that. you're pulling from back then.
it's not now." was that a good ad? was it a smart ad? or sort of into the wind? >> i don't know if you -- people do evolve in their opinions, so, you know, i'd leave that to jim kenney and people's interpretation of whether or not he has evolved politically. but there's a perspective. if you're, let's say in a low-income neighborhood -- doesn't have to be african-american -- if you're in a low-income neighborhood, historically, and especially if you're in an african-american neighborhood, historically there has been a chasm between the institutions that are meant to protect the african-american community and the african-american community itself. that institutional racism that has existed for years in our country, that hasn't flushed through yet. it will take another generation before that goes through. so the perspective of the elites, when they say this is just more of a commissioner ramsey versus policy discussion, they can say it from a perspective where they're not in a phone booth where the bees are stinging them constantly. imagine the perspective of a small community where you're in
a police state where you feel as though you've been terrorized for years by the same institution that's supposed to protect you. it's from that perspective that they're talking about whether or not stop-and-frisk should be a policy. and if you have a commissioner that is an advocate of it, you know, that person has to go. it's not an attack on a popular commissioner as much as a policy. >> i think it was a legitimate -- he said it as an adult. he didn't say it when he was 17 or 20. he said it when he was in politics 15, 16, 17 years ago, and i think it's a legitimate thing for somebody to say. he can also say, "i've evolved." but most people weren't saying "you can't beat them over the head with a billy club. i can't use a flashlight. what am i gonna be using -- a feather duster?" that's, you know, the frank rizzo language of the 1970s. and i think it's legitimate to bring it up. >> and i think he -- one, he didn't disavow it until it showed up on television. and two, all of the people who are being critical of the ad -- i think the ad, quite frankly, is a pretty powerful ad. all the people who are being critical of the ad have used
negative campaigning. whether they've done it on television or in direct mail or some other form, all of them who get righteous when they're not running have used it as part of the process, and this is a part of the process. and people wouldn't use negative advertising if it didn't work. >> well, you've made ads. you've run for office, so your perspective on this -- american cities, which is a super pac that supports senator williams' position on charter schools. stunning numbers -- $950,000 are expected to be spent on radio and tv in the last week of the campaign. it is going to be impossible to get in your car, turn on your tv without hearing an ad about tony williams. you guys have seen this in action. what does that mean for tony williams? i mean, what sort of difference is that gonna make for him? >> i think they should be spending more money in newspapers, too. [ laughter ] >> of course you do. >> anyway, look, i think that much television may or may not be -- i don't know whether it really does have a tremendous impact -- $650,000 versus $900,000. i mean, that's a saturation buy. at the same time, you know
jim kenney has certain unions who are gonna be supporting him and getting out that vote, so i think it's fair game. i think it's probably an overspend, and we'll see how efficient it is. >> i think that, though, in the end, you know, these elections are actually won on television. i mean, people get so much information. they really decide who they like and whose policies they like. and i think that's the effort, whether it's an overbuy or not. i think that's -- people are gonna see a lot of television of tony williams and jim kenney over the next few days, and on election, that's close. >> very quickly around the table, who do you think at this moment is going to be mayor -- well, the candidate for mayor, come a week from tuesday? >> i predict that the republican candidate will win the republican primary. [ laughter ] >> all right. brian? >> i think it probably looks like it's trending towards kenney, but i wouldn't be surprised if williams pulls it out. >> i think black voters consolidate around tony williams, and i think tony williams wins. >> i think we have a tale of two cities, and tony williams could be the connective tissue that binds the two cities. >> all right. let's turn and take a look at city council.
a lot going on there, as well. interesting picture for maria quinones-sanchez who has had interesting race in the 7th district and had 4 mayors come out in support of her against her democratic-primary challenger. is this pretty much done, that she's walked away with this, and is she somebody to look at for the future? >> i think it was a very powerful statement when you get the diversity. but going back to bill green -- my gosh. i haven't seen him in a long time out there in that situation, and i think it does say, you know, there's a certain institutional support that she has, and it's basically an imprimatur going forward. >> i think from street to green there was a pretty interesting contrast in looks. >> what was the way street was dressed? george, help me out. >> he's probably coming from a walk. but i think maria has -- i won't call it perfected but has learned how to win tough races and has learned how to be an independent member and a really constructive and smart voice on city council, and i think she is poised for a 2023 look at the mayor's race. >> and also, she's earned it.
i mean, she's one of the most well-respected city council members in recent times. and that's a broad consensus. >> let's talk about the domb effect on the race. he's running for an at-large seat, spent a lot of money -- putting in more than $250,000 of his own money, which has triggered something. that means the other candidates can now take in more donations. does that help the incumbents, and was that kind of part of the plan all along, to help out these incumbents? or that's just political hearsay? >> look, i know alan domb. i don't think that was a calculation. it was just, you know, he's running a campaign. he has put his own money in it. who the winners are from that calculus -- i don't think it was a calculated approach by alan domb. >> let's talk about janet blackwell. she's got an aide in her office who it turns out also has a role in an organization that was fundraising for her. that was no good. found to also give out political donations. that was no good. and then questions raised about this group called "the southwest philadelphia district services" -- that they've gotten
grants for work that they haven't done and people alleging shakedown activity when it comes to zoning. the bigger question is, could this turn into an ethics issue for her? >> looks like it already is an ethics issue for her. i, you know, marvel at these politicians who continue to get involved with these nonprofits and get in trouble. you think they would have learned their lesson. folks have gone to jail already -- pretty powerful folks. seems to be another case of that. i don't want to pre-judge it but clearly already some ethical issues have been raised. >> it seems so old-school, too and so like what we're trying to get away from in the city of philadelphia, and sanchez representing, frankly, something different and hopeful and optimistic in the future. >> but the zoning issue takes place in a lot of places all over the city, not just in this area. i think it's unfortunate because councilwoman blackwell doesn't need a lot of money. she's running unopposed. and so this isn't really about generating money. i think it's a little bit of carelessness, and i think the ethics board will grapple with that. i don't think there will be any legal issues that come out of it, but i do think there'll be possibly ethical issues.
>> something came up this week that a lot of people were like "really?" a parking app could be out there where you could pay your meter you know, they could raise the rates, but you could stay in the movies, you could stay at dinner, pay your meter, and not walk out to the ticket. a lot of people like it. the ppa likes it. but city hall said, "no. we make almost $2 million in parking fees." it just -- you do ads. you do public relations. does this seem like a bad idea to say to the public, "no, we want your parking-ticket money"? >> yeah, it is. and there's a little bit of backtracking that comes after that and "we didn't quite mean it this way," et cetera, et cetera. although i can tell you you have parking spaces on the street and it's not overnight, park there for 24 hours. there's a reason that merchants want you to kind of move your car. but to admit that, basically "we like the fines, and anything that makes it easy for people to avoid fines, we don't want." it's bad public relations. >> i would have presented it differently. 42% of our population doesn't have access to smartphones or broadband. so imagine playing a game of musical chairs and 42% are deaf.
so when the music stops, the others get a seat while the 42% are driving around looking for a parking spot. so i would frame it as a -- well, first of all, we should advance and become digital, but at the same time, pull in the 42% that are left behind. i think that's the bigger issue. >> i like that. >> as a suburban republican, i marvel at the way the city of philadelphia gets in the way of itself. this is a great idea. i talked to vince fenerty about it yesterday. other cities are doing it. we want to get people into the city to come to dinner and shows and shop and the rest, and this seems like a great way to do it. i just marvel at the way we get in the way of ourselves. >> 100% agree that we should do it. by the way, 30% of the traffic that you see are people looking for a parking spot. >> yeah. >> mm-hmm. >> if you drive less than 10,000 miles per year, it's cheaper to do uber. this entire -- driving cars will be disrupted in a few years, so if that's what you're hoping for to maintain a school district and others, it's gonna go away very soon. >> quickly, let's talk about something that blew up on sports radio and just around the water cooler. this was lesean mccoy in an interview with espn magazine
talking about chip kelly, saying there's something more to the moves he's made. and this was one of the quotes -- "there's a reason he got rid of the star black players, the good ones, like that." now, we're talking about a league that's almost 70% black. mccoy's position now will be filled by another black player demarco murray. we see nelson agholor in his eagles green. what was shady thinking? like, does he have a point though? or was this just -- >> i think he has a legitimate point. i think that -- and i'm an eagles fan, and i don't know chip kelly, but when you look at a team that has the lowest diversity in the league -- among its players, among its owners, among its staff, and within the organization -- who has shipped out jackson, who's shipped out mccoy, who's shipped out trent cole and pay a mid-level talent at best who was a destructive force in the locker room a long-term contract in riley cooper, it's a problem. and it's certainly a problem to the black community. >> now, you've played football. why would this make any sense, though, for chip? i mean, his whole goal is to win a super bowl.
you know, why would he be out there trying to get rid of star players? >> i can't answer that question except to say that he has gotten rid of three really exceptional talents, and what he's gotten in return for them -- i mean traded, not just let walk away. traded -- and what he's gotten in return for them is not -- >> demarco murray. >> he didn't that in a trade. he signed him as a free agent. >> you know, part of it is the chemistry of a locker room, and if you wanted to say why lesean mccoy was traded, it's 'cause i think he's kind of poison in the locker room. >> riley cooper wasn't poison in the locker room? >> that is an interesting point. if that's your feeling, don't you have to get rid of -- >> that's a bigger poison in that locker room. >> you know, he -- you know, i heard another quote, something to the effect of, you know, "he wants to run the whole show." yeah, he's -- and he'll have to, at some point a year, two, three years from now, "how you doing coach?" >> but, ajay, you're really good at saying, "this is how it should have been done." if you were gonna do this, shouldn't you have gotten rid of riley? like, it does stick out that he's still there. >> i think the riley cooper incident does stick out like a sore thumb, but after riley cooper's racial outburst the locker room came together and there was some forgiveness and redemption in terms of
riley cooper. so if we dismiss it from that standpoint, for me, from my perspective, chip kelly i don't think has racist tendencies as much as he wants a team that has a certain mindset. and he goes after not people like terrell owens and others but people who can conform to a program, similar to bill belichick. it would be tough to judge whether or not there was any racist tendency other than speculation. >> all right. well, we got to take a break. i would love to keep talking about this. we'll take a break and come back to more "inside story." >> "inside story" is presented by temple university. temple fuels students with academics and opportunities to take charge. plugged into the city, powered by the world. temple.edu/takecharge.
as teachers, we're on the front lines fighting to give every child the education they deserve. every child in every kind of school. jim kenney is the one we trust to be a mayor for all our kids. jim kenney. he's committed to providing pre-k in philadelphia and he'll work with communities and parents to turn around poor-performing schools. i trust jim kenney. jim kenney. jim kenney. jim kenney. he'll be a mayor for all of philadelphia.
trafficking. people need to know that even good kids from good neighborhoods are still vulnerable to this tricked environment where they're being taken off the street and put into bondage. >> welcome back to "inside story." i'm tamala edwards. we wanted to talk a minute about pat toomey, who is going to be up for reelection, the democrats looking to field somebody against him. he did something interesting this week. he went to the senate floor -- u.s. senate -- for 15 minutes in defense of police officers. now, this is a guy coming from a state with pittsburgh and philadelphia, very large urban populations that right now want to hear that people get it, that sometimes the police, in their opinion, do not treat them fairly. why did senator toomey do this and was it smart? you're our republican voice, val. let's start with you. >> yeah, i spoke to senator toomey about this yesterday, and i asked him, "how do you think this will affect you in the election?" and he said, "val, i didn't give
the speech with regard to that." he said, "i did what i thought was right. no one seems to be sticking up for law and order, and people in philadelphia and pittsburgh need law and order." now, if you listened to the speech, and i did, it's interwoven with "when police are bad actors, we need to make sure that we investigate that and go after that and change the culture if we have to." "but someone," he said, "needs to stick up for law enforcement in this country and law and order, or else you gradually descend into lawlessness." and i think that's his concern. and police officers need a voice out there, and he wants to be that voice as much as he wants to be a voice for those who are being, you know, abused, as well, by police. >> i think it's unfortunate that our politics in this country -- and no disrespect, val -- but our politics in this country have devolved down to taking to the floor of the united states congress, whether it's the house of representatives or the senate, to do that 15 minutes that's gonna show up in a campaign ad somewhere. whether he did it with that intent, i guarantee you it'll show up somewhere in a campaign ad in the next year, and that's just unfortunate. we don't send people to the united states senate to spend 15 minutes on the floor of the
senate talking about policing and someone who doesn't have an expertise in it. i mean, if he were an expert then that would maybe give him some credibility. but i was disappointed in some of things that he had to say 'cause i listened to his speech also. >> you wouldn't have voted for him anyway, so he knows that. >> and that's exactly right. >> but what's wrong with sticking up for law and order when they're under attack? i mean not just under attack verbally, but physically on the street -- being shot, being assaulted. it's nice that someone -- >> it's not in his job description. >> well, i -- well, is it in the president's job description? he made similar comments. >> i also think sometimes people like that get up and say that 'cause they really do feel what he was saying. and i don't think -- i think it was a nuance thing, what he said. and it was a point that -- and i think that where he thinks probably, also if you want to be pragmatic, where he thinks he's gonna get his vote isn't coming from george. he gave up on that. >> one way to restore trust with the institutions, especially the police department and those on the front line and the
african-american community, is not to throw fuel on the fire. i think what senator toomey was doing was reminding everybody that you can't take a few bad apples and paint with a broad brush the entire police force or law enforcement. i think from that standpoint, it was a gentle and, i think, an appropriate reminder for all of us that there people that put their lives in danger every day to protect us. those are the people that are going on the front line. >> let's talk about the place that is at the center of a lot of this debate right now, and that is baltimore, where we saw the state's attorney for the city come out and, within 24 hours of getting the police report, come out with charges. in one case, 2nd-degree depraved-heart murder charge, as well as manslaughter, assault, misconduct, and false imprisonment. a lot of this -- we got three lawyers here. the biggest question is -- >> four, actually. >> okay. well, the thing is, she can make the charges, but at the end of the day, you got to close the case. did she overreach? was she wise to come out with charges and come out with them so quickly? >> justice is slow in america,
unlike other countries, and that's intentional. there is a process -- due process. there is an investigation that has to be done. my fear is -- and i don't know whether or not it was too early to use justice, at least the indictment, as a way to do crowd control or at least appease a crowd, as opposed to really let the process vet out. we probably might have seen a little bit of an overreach in the initial aspects of jumping too quickly, but at the end, i think there may be enough evidence out there. she may have reached the right conclusion a little too quickly. >> i think it undermines though, her credibility -- something that quickly without a grand jury, without some of the other pieces. i think she would have more credibility in what she's charging them with if it took a couple more weeks, if there was more of a process there. it sounds like, as alan dershowitz said, this is using arrest as a crowd-control tool. >> you know, george and val, it's interesting. we already saw one of the lawyers for one of the police officers trying to pick apart the case in argument over the knife. was it a legal knife? was it an illegal knife? there are two competing
investigation reports. it seems like there's a lot of area out there where they're just gonna try to nitpick little pieces. >> mm-hmm. >> i think she was in a really difficult position. and could she have waited longer? yes, she could have. but she had resolved what she was going to do, and waiting longer wasn't going to change her mind. and i think, you know, overcharging is routine in the prosecutorial world. i mean, it gives people the ability to negotiate pleas and do other things. and she was in a difficult -- she was in a difficult environment. nobody can question that. i think she asked for peace and said, "i'm gonna give you justice." and i think she moved quickly, and i think the facts themselves will bear itself out. everybody posted bond. everybody's out. no harm, no foul. we move forward and the process will play itself out. >> the most troubling component of it is the charges for unlawful arrest or unlawful imprisonment -- i forget what the actual charge was -- because the argument is "you didn't have probable cause to arrest." so now police can be subject to
prosecution because they may or may not have had probable cause. now, volumes have been written on probable cause and the alleyways and the pitfalls and trying to make that determination. our, you know, supreme court justices have written about it. and to put a police on the line, on the street that day, and ask him to make that snap decision if he makes it wrong, he could go to jail -- has a tremendous chilling effect on law enforcement. if i were in baltimore, if i were a police officer, i'd be looking for another job. >> the one thing there needs to be on police officers in america is a chilling effect. there are at least 10 black men who are dead today that almost everybody uniformly believes shouldn't be dead if there were proper policing. nobody said they're gonna go to jail or gonna be -- but everybody believes uniformly there are at least 10 black men who are dead who shouldn't be dead at the hands of police officers. >> all right, this debate will go on. we'll take a short break and come back to our insiders' inside story.
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>> "inside story" is presented by temple university. temple fuels students with academics and opportunities to take charge. plugged into the city, powered by the world. temple.edu/takecharge. >> time now for our inside stories of the week. george, you. >> the national democratic party spends 3% of its money with black businesses. democratic national convention under kevin washo's leadership have to do a better job. >> my inside story -- garland, texas. one of the craziest parts of this is talking about hate speech. in america, whether you like it or not, people can put a crucifix in urine, put dung on mary, march nazis down skokie, and you can say whatever you want and draw whatever you want. >> tamala, june 11th, the official launch of the germination project. go to germinationproject.com. buy a ticket. >> val. >> senate republicans are poised to take up pension reform next week, and the harrisburg "patriot-news" published 995 state employees who retired who make over $100,000 a year from their pension, including
one state rep who makes $477,000 a year. >> that's the job i should have had. all right, happy mother's day out there. my mom's here. i love you, mom. have a good week. >> i'm in nydia han along with eva pilgrim. >> a man was shot in philadelphia's port richmond section. the search for the gunman is on. fire drives a family from their home in bucks county. things could have been worse if it was not for smoke detecters. >> we're in for a hot mother's day, but a cool down is on the